Warm up with homemade soup

Chef shares tips to help you heat things up in the kitchen

January is National Soup Month, and there’s nothing like a steaming hot bowl of hearty soup to warm you up in the winter.

Soup was described as “the perfect winter meal” by Chef Jim Oppat who is Corporate Executive Chef for the Joe Vicari Restaurant Group, including the Birmingham Pub. Chef Oppat appeared on “Live In The D” to share some advice for cooking homemade soup.

Chef Oppat made an Austrian Goulash, which is a beef-based soup. He said you can buy a tougher cut like a chuck roast, because you want it to slowly cook and braise. Chef Oppat caramelized the beef with onions, garlic, carrot, and a lot of paprika. Next, he added some flour to the mixture to add some thickness, creating a bit of a roux. After that, the chef mixed in tomato paste. Chef Oppat suggests adding in the stock in small increments to get the consistency you prefer for your soup.

When it comes to making a great soup, it starts with “good, high quality, fresh ingredients,” Chef Oppat explained. He said there aren’t any shortcuts. He mentioned that you can buy your stock and broth premade, but said the rest is about developing levels of flavor. Watch the video above to see the soup Chef Oppat cooked up on “Live In The D”.

Here is the recipe for Chef Oppat’s Austrian Goulash:


4 oz chopped bacon

8 oz. diced onion

6 oz. diced carrot

1 # beef shank diced small

4 T Hungarian paprika

4 T. sliced garlic

1 T flour

½ qt. brown stock

1 qt. chicken stock

8 oz. diced Yukon gold potato

1 sachet bag (1T. caraway, 2 bay leaf, 4 sprigs fresh marjoram, 2 long peels lemon zest)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Render the bacon then caramelize the onion in bacon fat. After onion is brown add carrots and garlic then continue to cook 2 more minutes. Add beef and paprika then sauté for 1 minute. Sprinkle with flour and tomato paste to coat all ingredients. Add both stocks. And sachet bag, simmer 1 hour adding diced potatoes last 15 minutes.

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